Today’s Reading: Alma 5:51-62
51 And also the Spirit saith unto me, yea crieth unto me with a mighty voice
After reading Alma 5:51 I reflected, “Has the Spirit ever cried to me with a mighty voice?” While we often hear the Spirit communicates with a still, small voice, I wondered what does the mighty voice feel like? When I asked my children, one responded “You mean the Spirit yells at you?” Actually, it is not harsh at all. A mighty voice from the Spirit is compelling. It is strong. It is inviting. It is full of love. It is all encompassing and even overwhelming.
I have felt that mighty voice from the Spirit. For example: In the sealing room of the temple; during a baptism; after giving birth; in an answer to prayer; while studying my scriptures; witnessing a patriarchal blessing or after watching a movie depicting the life of Jesus Christ.
I treasure these experiences and have sometimes wondered: Why did the Lord decide to send the Spirit like He did on those occasions and not others? Why wasn’t I overcome during every baptism or sealing I witnessed? Why didn’t he answer every prayer with a “mighty voice” or speak powerfully to me during every earnest scripture study? Did the magnitude of the Spirit have more to with my preparation, the speaker’s worthiness or the will of God, or a combination of these? Does the Lord feel more strongly about certain things? I don’t think these questions necessarily require answers, but in reflecting on them, it seems less helpful to ask why, and more helpful to recognize them for what they are—powerful witnesses of the truth.
You may feel like I do sometimes and really desire the Spirit to cry with a mighty voice to you. As I contemplated this, I thought of when Elder D. Todd Christofferson relayed an experience while visiting the Sacred Grove as a young person. He had desired a powerful spiritual witness while there and had not received one. His talk entitled “Strong Impressions of the Spirit” explains how he did have a powerful witness come to him a few weeks later while studying the Book of Mormon.
I learned from that experience that we cannot demand things from God. We cannot say, “You have to answer me in this way, right this moment.” It is up to Him to decide how and when and what He will communicate to us. Our responsibility is to always be in the right condition to receive the promptings or whisperings, the revelation, the inspiration of the Spirit. But He makes the decision of how and when.
Perhaps, in reflecting on how and when the Spirit gives a powerful witness I can learn more about how and when powerful witnesses may come.While a mighty voice from the Spirit cannot be demanded, it does happen and is real. I want to express gratitude that the Lord does sometimes communicate with a mighty voice.
When has the Spirit spoken to you with a mighty voice?